Her voice came out in a thick British accent with a soft tone despite her anger as she growled the words.
Her golden-brown eyes narrowed and felt piercing as she glared at me in a way that left me feeling uncomfortable. Despite her only being around five feet six and slender, she was poised and ready to attack, like a majestic lioness prepared to pounce on its unsuspecting prey.
“Who am I?” I rumbled, standing up and letting the energy filling me up to the brim and ready to burst. “This is my house! Who are you?”
The woman scoffed at my response, “This place has been empty for months, love, it’s ours now, move your ass out of here.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” I insisted, as much as she intimidated me, I refused to move, and anger bubbled in my veins. “I would advise you’re the one who gets out of here.”
I did not understand where my courage had come from, perhaps it was from the anger her statement made me feel. This was my home, my family’s home, all I had left of my old life, and the ones I used to hold dearest to me. It wasn’t her home, nor did she have the right to claim it because it had been unoccupied. My father and his had built this cabin with their own bare hands.
The woman challenged me, stepper closer, “yeah? And what’s a little skinny runt like you going to do about it?”
Under the dim light of a few lit candles, shadows cast over her body and face, which made her seem much more terrifying. Her golden eyes glistened in the fire’s flickers, and they held a look of hunger inside them—a glimpse of desire I’d only ever seen in eyes that had glowed red before.
“I wouldn’t come any closer,” I warned as she took another step, and the pressure built inside me at a rapid pace.
Although I’d gained some control, I still couldn’t fully control it when my emotions ran high. My heartbeat quickened as my breath became staggered, and I readied to defend myself.
“Or what, huh? What’s a little pathetic human like you going to do about it?”
Quickly the energy inside me burst, a power strong enough to send the woman flying backward and crashing into the wall behind her.
“Alicia? What the hell!” A man’s deep voice laced in a subtle Irish accent sounded in a roar before he appeared.
He had considerable muscles that framed the body of his six-foot-tall self. His auburn hair was short and neat, with a smart, slight beard that matched his hair shade.
He turned his piercing light blue eyes to me, and rage was clear under the light of the fire, “What did you do?!”
“She tried to attack me!” I snarled, “This is my home, now leave.”
The woman growled as she recovered, picking herself up and pouncing, “little bitch!”
However, the man moved quicker than the speed of light, catching her midair and stopping her in her tracks, “Alicia, no.”
“She’s a witch! She’s on our territory! You know the rules!”
The man turned back to me while holding Alicia in his firm grasp. His maddened gaze softened a little and turned into one of caution and questioning.
In a tone of hesitance, he questioned, “What’s your name?”
“Hallie Davenport, this is my family’s home. I’m not on your territory, you’re on mine!”
Suddenly the woman ceased struggling against the man, and both of them looked at me, wide-eyed and bewildered. It was as if they’d seen something mysterious, yet dazzling as they studied me in wonder.
“Davenport?” The man spoke the name as his expression grew confused, “She’s right, Alicia; we’re on her turf, we need to go.”
“We can’t leave!” Alicia panicked, everything about her stance and expression changing to match her vocal tone, “The Wolves have left their den, and they’re heading this way. If we go out there, we’re their next meal!”
“How do you know who I am?” I commanded.
The man responded, “We don’t know who you are, but we know who your family is. Davenport, leaders of the Willow Lake coven, right?”
I nodded, “Yes. How do you know who my family is?”
The man sighed, letting go of Alicia as he rubbed his face with his large hand. “Look, Hallie, we’ve only been here because it was empty and has been for almost a year. We didn’t realize anyone, let alone a Davenport owned it. We thought you’d all been killed.”
Alicia’s body slumped, “I think we need to talk. I’m Alicia, and this is my husband, Emmett. We’re fugitives from our clan for lack of a better term because we betrayed them, and we’d been running for a long time until we found this cabin.”
I looked between the pair, all hints of their intimidating, rage expressions gone. Now they just stood there looking vulnerable and defeated.
“How do you know about the attack?”
“The attack is why we’ve been on the run.” Emmett explained, “It was our clan who attacked your home. We fought against them because we didn’t want any part of it, your coven had done nothing wrong as far as we were concerned. One of your younglings had accidentally stumbled into our territory. At least, that’s what we were told. However, our leader could not forgive our betrayal and refusal to join the attack.”
I stood there listening to Emmett, bemused. None of us knew why the Vampires attacked us that day, but now I knew.
Usually, when one of us crossed into Vampire or Wolf territory, it had to be reported immediately, so my father could go attempt to smooth things over. However, no such report had been made.
“So...you are Vampires?” I took a step back, flinching in fear. Despite knowing not all Vampires were as evil as those who’d attacked, it left me with the dread from the ones that killed my family.
“Yes.” Alicia jumped in quickly, “But please, we’re not like them. Our decision to go against the attack was just the final straw when we tried to stop it. But it was us two against ten others. We were outvoted and told we had a choice. Run, or die.”
“As you can tell, we opted to run.” Emmett continued, “As far as we were aware, no one survived the attack. But clearly, the information they gave to us was wrong as you’re still very much alive. We’ll leave, but please let the Wolves past first.”
“Let us cook you up something.” Alicia offered, “You look like you haven’t eaten properly in days. We have some fresh deer meat we caught earlier; we were going to cook up, anyway. We can eat animal meat. It tastes like vomit to us, mind you, but it helps. Please, as an apology for trespassing, then we’ll go, and you’ll never see us again.”
I looked at their imploring eyes. I could see they feared the Wolves prowling outside and rightly so. Warlocks and Vampires only had one thing in common, and that was having the Wolves as a mutual enemy.
I could see the honesty in them too, I knew better than to trust them, but I was hungry. The last time I ate was two days ago, and it had only been a small rabbit.
I gave them both a slight nod, “I’ll help cook.”
Over dinner, I told them about what happened that night of the attack and my escape. That went into the events of what happened in Silver oak and why I had to run from there.
“So, I came back here.” I sighed as I finished explaining, “I’ve looked everywhere in this forest, but I’ve found no one from my coven. I’m alone with nowhere else to go, and I obviously can’t join normal civilization, I’m too dangerous.”
Alicia hummed in a disapproving manner, “I don’t believe that for a second. You’re not dangerous, Hallie. What happened to that woman wasn’t your fault, how were you supposed to know you’d suddenly gain full force powers?”
“Yeah, but if I’d just-”
Emmett interrupted as he leaned forward in the oak chair around the small dining table, “If you carry the guilt around forever and let it stop you living, it ends you in some nasty situations. It wasn’t until I found Alicia here I forgave myself for the lives I’ve taken in the past. Believe it or not, we Vampires can have feelings, you know.”
“It’s true,” Alicia nodded with a subtle shrug of her shoulders, “We’re not soulless, emotionless animals. Most are mind you, but there are a few of us who are wired otherwise. It’s kind of like how you can get good Warlocks and bad ones. Good Wolves and bad ones. Good humans and bad ones. It’s all the same.”
“So, you weren’t supposed to have powers, right?” Emmett asked curiously after he chugged down a cup of deer blood, which made me grimace.
I nodded as my teeth bit my cheek softly, “I wasn’t supposed to have been born, to begin with. I wasn’t supposed to be a twin.”
“And all the women are humans?” Emmett urged, eager to learn more.
“Yes, although most are what we call Wicca’s. Which are pagans; basically, they believe in witchcraft and even perform spells and rituals using nature. But yes, they’re human, just ones who aren’t afraid of the supernatural.”
Emmett continued to fire more questions, the interest evident in his expression, “but you have your powers now, obviously.”
Alicia lightly smacked Emmett on the arm with the back of her hand. “This isn’t the Spanish inquisition, stop asking her so many questions.”
“I’m just interested, that’s all.” Emmett defended as he brushed her off, “We’re aware of your kind, of the coven, and we were around when The Rogue One ran riot. We were the other side of the world, mind you, but we heard all the stories.”
“It’s okay, Alicia, I don’t mind.” I reassured her, “It’s kind of nice being able to talk about it.”
Alicia remained silent for a moment before she groaned, “Well, sounds like the Wolves have left the area. Vampires, supersonic hearing, and all, so I guess we better get out of your hair. Thank you for not killing us and hearing us out.”
I looked at the two and then out the small window. It would be sunrise in just under two hours, and I knew they couldn’t be out in daylight. They’d be hard pushed to find a shelter significant enough for them in time.
Except for the week I spent in Silver Oak, I’d been alone for two years.
I missed my friends; I lost my parents, brother; I killed the one companion I’d made, and I was growing weary of being alone.
Having the company was nice, and they seemed pleasant enough. I knew better than to trust them, but letting them stick around for another day or two while they figured out where to go couldn’t hurt.
At least I knew there was a limited chance of killing them, the way I’d murdered Mary.
The word came out before I could even rationalize with myself, “Stay.”